PNNL Careers

Post Doc Research Associate - Coastal Ocean Modeling – Salish Sea Model


Job Description

Job ID: 308056
Full/Part Time: Full-Time
Regular/Temporary: Temporary

Job Description

A fully funded (2YR+1) Post-Doctoral Research Associate Position is now open at PNNL – Marine Sciences Laboratory (Seattle, WA office). This position is ideally suited for recent oceanography, coastal, ocean, environmental, and civil engineering graduates specializing in hydrodynamics, circulation, and biogeochemical modeling, and sediment/contaminant fate and transport analysis. The selected candidate will participate in multi-disciplinary model development activities related to the Salish Sea Model that are in progress and will have an opportunity to pursue a full-time scientist position at PNNL contingent upon successful completion of the Post-Doctoral research.

In collaboration with Washington State Department of Ecology and U.S. EPA, PNNL has developed a 3-D finite volume circulation and transport model for the Salish Sea (Puget Sound and Georgia Basin in the Pacific Northwest). The Salish Sea Model is currently being used by the agencies in connection with nutrient pollution management, assessment of future impacts, and nearshore restoration ( This specific position is to support the ongoing Salish Sea Model development efforts. This includes implementation of new features and capabilities, improving overall predictive skill, and helping the team progress towards establishing an Operational Forecast System for the region.

Position responsibilities will include research and development activities targeted towards improving the model performance in response to the needs expressed by the Salish Sea user community. This may require refining and extending the existing Salish Sea Model in a variety of ways, and setting up, testing, and incorporating new modules related to (a) Hydrodynamics and Sediment Transport (b) Biogeochemistry, (c) Toxics Fate and Transport, and (c) Ecosystem Food Web Kinetics. Our primary modeling platforms are based on FVCOM and CE-QUAL-ICM models for the coastal ocean environment which we run on PNNL’s institutional super computer. We also have companion projects that utilize codes such as SUNTANS, ROMS, DELFT3D, WASP/TOXI, and CE-QUAL-W2 and therefore experience with one or more of these models will be a plus. Successful candidate must have familiarity of working with parallelized Fortran codes in a Linux environment. Project activities will be spread out over a three-year period and will focus on advancing the model readiness level for a successful transition to an Operational Forecast System for the Salish Sea.

Equal Employment Opportunity

Battelle Memorial Institute (BMI) at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) is an Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity Employer and supports diversity in the workplace. All employment decisions are made without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, disability, veteran status, marital or family status, sexual orientation, gender identity, or genetic information. All BMI staff must be able to demonstrate the legal right to work in the United States. BMI is an E-Verify employer. Learn more at

Minimum Qualifications

Preferred Qualifications

• Experience in conducting oceanographic modeling using one or more of the leading state of the art 3-D ocean modeling codes (eg. FVCOM, ROMS, SELFE/SCHISM, DELFT-3D, SUNTANS and CE-QUAL-ICM, WASP/TOXI).
• Experience and/or familiarity with parallelized Fortran codes in Linux environment and the ability to modify, debug, and new modules / subroutines.

• Ph.D in coastal, environmental, civil, oceanography and engineering specializing in coastal hydrodynamic and biogeochemical modeling and analysis

Specifically, the degrees, coursework, or experience in the following areas are preferred

• Hydrodynamics and circulation
• Biogeochemical modeling and water quality
• Toxics fate and transport modeling
• Sediment transport and geomorphological modeling
• Oil spill / Trajectory modeling (GNOME and BLOSOM)
• Particle and fish larvae transport and tracking
• Experience with the following tools and skills will be a plus
o SMS – Surface Modeling System - Grid generation and Post Processing
o Sigmaplot, Tecplot, and Matlab – Pre and post processing of Data
o Familiarity with Unix /Linux environment
o Fortran, C++, and parallel computing
o Web Programming: Java Script, HTML, Perl

3.75 GPA or higher is preferred

Organization and Job ID

Job ID: 308056
Directorate: Energy and Environment
Division: Coastal Research
Group: Coastal Modeling